News Release Archive:

News Release 624 of 1049

April 17, 2002 02:00 PM (EDT)

News Release Number: STScI-2002-04

Hubble Hunts Down Binary Objects at the Fringe of Our Solar System


Image: Artist's View of Kuiper Belt Object 1998 WW31

Artist's View of Kuiper Belt Object 1998 WW31STScI-PRC2002-04b Artist's Concept

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This is an artist's view of a Kuiper Belt binary object, called 1998 WW31. These icy bodies orbit each other at the fringe of our solar system. The illustration depicts one member of the duo in the foreground; its companion - the dark, round object - is in the background. The objects are about the same size. Both are illuminated from behind by the Sun [the white dot at upper left]. Like other Kuiper Belt objects, this duo orbits the Sun, completing a circuit every 301 years. The planet Pluto orbits the Sun every 248 years.

Object Name: 1998 WW31

Image Type: Artwork

Credit: NASA and G. Bacon (Space Telescope Science Institute)


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